Miranda Mears, Strategic Advisor Government and Industry
Recently at Smart Precinct NQ we ran our very first Dare to Think Big Pre-Accelerator.
This program was a one-day interactive workshop designed to provide context around the strategies, techniques and methods of ideation and innovation and provide a catalyst and roadmap for what next in the journey of change and innovation.
In the room we had new businesses, people with no business but a great idea and really mature long standing businesses looking to add new products, technology, or revenue streams to their business. All there with a specific purpose Innovation and making impactful change to their business.
Adding Innovation to your Business Plan
WHY: So, what is innovation – and why should you care. There’s an innovation race going on… companies are trying to come up with ways to serve their customers in new, unexpected ways. Roger Von Oech Creator and Toy Maker said it perfectly when he said “It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago but will soon be out of date.”
Innovation is essential for survival and success in a turbulent world. It is not new it’s been going on since the dawn of time. If you a sitting having a coffee and want something more inspiring than your facebook or insta feed you might like to look at this quick 6m video 71 of the most amazing innovations of all time.
HOW: Innovation is oft misunderstood.
First, Let’s break down Innovation and Ideation. Ideation is the process of generating the ideas. Innovation is executing new ideas to create value such as translating an idea into something (product, service or method) that someone will pay for or changing a method or process in a way that streamlines, provides competitive advantage or changes behaviour.
How: How can you make this change or ideas happen. Innovation is not just a matter of getting some people in a room once a year, adding some post-its and beers to the mix, and hoping for the best.
There are several different types and fields of innovation. From the big ticket strategic and disruptive innovation activities through to incremental innovation that provides making consistent improvements to existing products, services, or ways of doing business over time. Each have a time and place and works well when it is fit for purpose.
The types of innovation activity such as our recent Big Ideas Pre-Accelerator and our SME Innovation Labs are examples of structured innovation sessions that focus on bigger bolder changes such as business model innovation, solving industry challenges and spinning out.
However, innovation can also just be a part of BAU and how you do business. Incremental Innovation and Innovation Nudges is something that every organisation can encourage with the right Innovation Culture.
Innovation nudging is a novel spin on Nudge theory. In behavioural science, political theory and economics nudges are used to influence behaviour in subtle, low-cost ways without explicitly asking someone to make a decision or enforcing a change of behaviour.
A nudge in the right place at the right time can provide profound incremental innovation opportunities that generate significant value.
Ensuring all humans in the organisation are engaged to contribute to innovating within the organisation is critical and the secret ingredient when it comes to truly transformational organisations. Those that are in the best position to identify opportunities for incremental innovation to improve their own position or the position of the group are the ones that are living it on the daily – warts and all.
However cultural norms, policy and procedure typically impede the getting **it done part of the innovation equation.
Changing cultural approaches towards supporting agile innovation, innovation nudges and being continuously in motion can be uncomfortable at first but once on the journey it can provide not only significant value not to innovation but more broadly to retention and the HQ (Happiness Quotent).
By understanding the why innovation, the how you can implement innovation and establish an innovation culture, you will be in a better position to understand what that looks like in terms of culture, process and operational rhythm and how it will work with YOUR business. Innovation like most things is not just a plug and play – it must integrate deeply with every aspect of your business including your overall mission and how you achieve that both internally and externally facing.
If you would like support in establishing an innovation agenda don’t forget Smart Precinct is always there to help whether it is attending our Wednesday Connects and events or joining in a program.